This year, I didn't make any New Year's resolutions. And I liked it.
I believe in setting goals. Just not ones I have to make at a set date and time. I have trouble enough improving my character when I feel motivated to do it. Make me try just because it's January 1st and my chances for sustained success actually go into negative numbers.
Usually, I do make a New Year's resolution, and pretty much every year it's going to bed earlier.
To understand this, you need to know that I'm an incorrigible night owl. I hate sleep. I think it's excruciatingly boring. What motivates me in life is getting things done and crossing things off my to-do list. Check, check, check.
Lying in a comatose stupor for 1/3 of the day is really the worst possible thing I can imagine doing with my time. And not only do I have to do it, I have to do it every day.
Most people don't face the prospect of doing a tedious task they despise for 6-8 hours a day, every day, including weekends and holidays, but I do. It's terrible.
Even as a kid, I remember how hard it was to fall asleep because I just hated lying there doing nothing, even if I really was tired.
When I try to explain myself, Phillip argues, "But you are doing something by sleeping. You're taking care of your health."
Okay, fine. But the benefits of that are waaaay too forward-thinking for me. You know those rats in experiments who learn to press the lever with their little paws to get a treat? That's me. I like immediate gratification. Plus, some nights I don't sleep much and wake up feeling okay in the morning, anyway.
It's not completely my fault. I blame genetics. When I was in 2nd or 3rd grade, I remember having a conversation with my dad about how great it would be if people never had to sleep, and he totally got what I was saying. This is a man who's spent the last 20 years working 12-24 hour shifts in the E.R., then getting by on a few hours' sleep after he gets home.
And so with my dark history, I thought about making "going to bed on time" my resolution for this year. For about two seconds, and then I decided that I wasn't in the mood for a New Year's resolution this year.
I'm not telling you how late I stayed up January 1st. Well, I'll give you two clues. It was already AM when I rolled into bed, and the first number on the clock was not even 1.
And you know what? It felt great. I mean, I woke up feeling like I'd gotten run over by a bus, but it gave me the motivation to go to sleep in a more timely manner on January 2nd, and I did.
I'm so encouraged about that, I might just do it again tonight.
Had I made a big deal over "going to bed on time" being my New Year's resolution, I would've felt bad for failing Day One and probably stayed up just as late the next night. Because when I fail, I do it thoroughly.
Just something to think about when you're beating yourself up over breaking your 2015 resolutions. I'm finding it a lot less stressful to be a January 3rd resolution kind of girl. It's a lot less pressure.